Thank God for Maggots

“And we know that God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.”                                                                                                                                                                                    (Romans 8:28)

Maggots are blessings from God.

(When I was a speech teacher, I had a list of nine ways to begin a speech that would grab the audience’s attention. You just read an example of “the startler.”)

Years ago I came across an article in the newspaper that I found so fascinating that I clipped it and stuck it in my Bible, where it stayed for years (along with about 90 other miscellaneous pieces of paper – Does anyone else do that?). I’m not sure what my original purpose was for putting it there, possibly because it made the whole notion of Darwinian evolution look pretty ridiculous. – reason in itself for me to like an article.

This article was about a man whose injured leg became so severely infected that after doctors had unsuccessfully tried the most advanced antibiotics, he was finally scheduled to have the leg amputated. A relative heard about the revival of an ancient treatment involving the use of maggots. As a last-ditch effort the family agreed to give the little critters a try. The man’s leg was cleaned, a layer of hungry maggots applied, and gauze loosely wrapped around the area. Two days later the gauze and the maggots were removed, revealing a pink, healthy leg, and the surgery was canceled.

The amazing thing about maggots is that these little creatures can tell the difference between live tissue and dead tissue, and they only eat the dead stuff.  They also secrete a chemical substance that promotes healing, so in the case of the man with the dying leg, the maggots ate the dead tissue, left the live tissue, and bathed it in medicine. (“Survival of the fittest”? I think not.)

So, why am I telling this story, other than the fact that I now have the attention of every middle school boy? (Yeah, I’ve taught middle school. Gross is cool.) As we go through life, we get wounded – don’t we? Everything seems hideous, horrifying, chaotic, and just plain wrong. Sometimes prayer yields only more appalling circumstances. (Maggots eating my flesh? Hey, I’m not dead yet!) But Scripture teaches us that “God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose,” (Romans 8:28) and there’s a reason it says that. Because, if we truly are trusting God, with the passing of time what seemed so disgusting and appalling actually turns out to be right, until one morning you wake up and realize … you’re healed.

Next week I’ll share with you such a time in my life.

Prayer: Lord, Your ways are so much higher than ours, and our vision is so blurred by our own inadequacies and insecurities. We trust that You are working all things together for our good, even those things that seem appalling to us at the time. Thank You for not quitting on us when we complain about our circumstances, even when we beg You to “make it stop!” You alone know everything it’s going to take for us to be truly healed.  We yield our lives to You, in Jesus’ name.  Amen

11 thoughts on “Thank God for Maggots

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